Theora Jones Markup Language

"Control Rooms on Auto-Pilot",

The widespread use of cache servers for file-based commercial delivery has helped spur the development of the Broadcast Exchange Format (BXF), which is designed to allow traffic systems to dynamically update automation software through the XML data-interchange standard. Harris, Pathfire, Sundance and VCI (which sells both traffic and automation software since acquiring Digital Transaction Group last year), are some of the key vendors driving BXF through SMPTE’s S22-10 Metadata Exchange Working Group. Some 70 vendors in total have been involved in the three-year project, which is expected to yield a formal standard later this year.

"BXF has been the culmination of a significant effort by companies that are all focused on removing the barriers of communication between their respective systems and gaining efficiencies as a result," says Jamie Meyer, automation division manager for VCI, who originally joined the BXF working group while at Pathfire.

BXF could deliver what Meyer calls the "holy land" of dynamically scheduling new spots while live on-air, by providing a seamless metadata exchange between automation and traffic software. But more than that, BXF represents a way to troubleshoot problems, Meyer says, "without having to get out a secret decoder ring to work on proprietary protocols."

BXF also addresses program-management systems, says Sundance Product Manager Rick Stora: "What BXF is really about is making everything that goes on today more efficient."